If controlling the blight is a battle, it’s a cold war in El Campo and a councilman wants to know why.
His concern brings the issue back to city council on Monday, four months after a concentrated effort to clean up the city was supposed to begin.
“It’s high time to clean up the city,” District 4 Councilman John Hancock Jr. said shortly before the effort was launched in December.
Since then, cleanup efforts haven’t exactly toppled abandoned or structurally unsound buildings or cleared debris-strewn fields from the city limits. However, the mowing of overgrown land and the removal of unwanted vehicles continues.
“Staff will make a presentation on actions taken over the past month and plans for the next quarter,” City Manager Courtney Sladek said.
Obstacles to enforcement, officials say, include finding and notifying owners as well as grandfathered properties.
Director of Public Works Kevin Thompson has been named the town’s general in the battle against the plague and is expected to help update the council.
The El Campo City Council meets at 6:30 p.m. Monday at Rooms, 315 E. Jackson. The meeting is open to the public with time specifically set aside for citizen feedback. Other items before the Board include:
The council is starting a debate on where heavy trucks can park in commercial areas, similar to those already in place in residential areas of El Campo.
The proposed order would not affect delivery or utility vehicles or repair trucks between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m.
Twelve hours, however, would be the limit for a parked RV, trailer, boat, or similar item.
Vehicles belonging to businesses in the area would be allowed to stay overnight in that business’s designated parking lot, but could not be left on city streets or alleys.
A fine of $500 per day is contemplated.
The formal ordinance establishing the new city council district boundaries will be presented. The council unanimously approved the redistricting plan last session, a plan that expands Districts 2 and 4 to balance the number of voters.
The next district election cycle will not take place until 2023.
The Board is expected to accept two easements along FM 1162 with the goal of eventually extending more utility lines in the area around US 59.
Three other extensions have already been accepted at previous meetings.
Fuel prices raise concerns about material prices. “Staff recommends rejecting all offers and re-offering for shorter terms due to fuel surcharges,” Sladek said.
The mayor should proclaim April Child Abuse Prevention and Awareness Month and Sexual Assault Awareness Month.
A 2022 Chevrolet Tahoe Police is under consideration for just under $53,000, including just over $15,000 for equipment.
The purchase would be made using dollars from the fund balance
The Board will meet in executive session to discuss real estate, as permitted by state law. To act, they must first return to an open session.